Nonprofit asking for community help with annual toy drive

United Way of South Central Nebraska is hoping to make every child’s holiday special
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:05 AM CST
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - United Way of South Central Nebraska’s annual Toys for Tots toy drive is back and in need of donations to ensure every child in the area has a special holiday season.

With Christmas quickly approaching, United Way is asking community members who are able to consider dropping a toy in one of the Toys for Tots drop box locations throughout the area. There is a box in Menards, the Hastings Chamber of Commerce, each CPI location and a few others.

Each year the Marines are accountable for nearly 50 percent of toys that go out as part of Toys for Tots but this year are expecting a fraction of that as the Marines have been affected the same as every other nonprofit during the pandemic.

“We do still know that the need is greater than ever so we have more kids that need them,” United Way of SCNE Executive Director Jodi Graves said. “We’ll make it work; the community always steps up when we put out a call like this so we hope that happens again and we truly believe that it will.”

Graves said there is usually a gap in toys for children between ages eight and 12 and asks people to consider toys targeted for older children. United Way will also accept monetary donations and those can be dropped off in the office or sent to United Way as long as they’re addressed to “Toys for Tots”.

On top of the toy drop boxes, Heartland Bank at 3701 Osborne Dr. W has a giving tree with tags on it that list something specific a child in the area needs. People are encouraged to visit that tree, choose a tag, purchase the item and bring it to United Way by Dec. 15.

The last day United Way will accept toys or money will be Dec. 15. Anyone interested in helping out on distribution day or in filling out an application to receive a gift from Toys for Tots should stop in the office at 301 South Burlington Ave.

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